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How Much Tax do I Have to Pay?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 30 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
Tax Bands Paye Income National Insurance

In a life full of financial uncertainties, there is one thing that you can cling to as an absolute fact: the taxman will always be trying to take money off you. How much tax you have to pay, however, is dependant on a number of different factors.

National Insurance

In the first instance, it is important to recognise that there are two distinct payments which you will normally be required to make to the government. The first is National Insurance.

These are contributions that individuals make to the public purse, in order to guarantee their right to state-run welfare facilities. National Insurance is different from general taxation in several key ways: primarily, although levels of contribution are staggered, the access to benefits is not means tested. Furthermore, employers also make a contribution for each of their employees, based on the size of contribution being paid by the latter.

National Insurance contributions are divided into Classes, ranging from Class 1 to Class 4. If you are an employed person, you are likely to be required to make Class 1 contributions. This means that, if your gross wage is over the Earnings Threshold, currently set at £157 - £866 per week, you will pay 12% of your income in National Insurance Contributions, or NICs. Furthermore, if you earn over £866 per week, you will pay another 2% of everything you earn over that figure. As an employed person, it is the responsibility of your employer to pay your contributions out of your wage.

For the Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, the National Insurance system is slightly different. In this case, regardless of your income, you will pay Class 2 NICs at a flat rate of £2.85 per week. On top of this, you will be required to make Class 4 contributions of 9% of your income between £8,164 and £45,000. On earnings over this higher figure, you should be making contributions of 2%. You should also bear in mind that, if your income is less than £6,025, you can apply for a Small Earnings Exception, which exempts you from Class 2 contributions.

Income Tax

Aside from National Insurance, you will also pay income tax. Everyone has an annual non-taxable allowance of £11,500 (6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018). If you are employed, then you will pay tax on earnings over this allowance as follows: 20% up to £45,000, 40% between £45,000 to £150,001, and 45% on everything over £150,000. Your income tax will be automatically deducted from your wage if you are signed up to a PAYE scheme.

If you are self-employed, the income tax system operates slightly differently. In these cases, you will be required to fill in a Self Assessment, which involves giving details of all of your taxable earnings from the previous year. From this, HM Revenues and Customs will calculate how much tax you must pay. You will pay tax at the same rate as employed people; the difference is that your payments are not deducted as you earn.

Please note that these figures apply to the 2017-18 tax year.

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I have been doing a 7.5 hour job for 4 years, not paying tax or NI.I have recently started a job doing 16 hours a week. I received my first pay slip and paid 23 pounds tax, is this correct for my total earnings. Please advise Regards N Kennedy
Nikki - 30-Sep-20 @ 7:22 AM
Hi iv just started a cash in hand cleaning job I will be earning between £50 & £60 per week, will I have to pay tax on this?
Annie - 26-Aug-20 @ 12:01 PM
I get 1100 take home pay I used to get 1400 on dole do you make it up loose 300 month for working
Mark Traynor - 24-Apr-20 @ 9:34 AM
I've worked 43 hours this month and had 51.78 tax took of me if this correct it seems to much to me..
Deb - 5-Feb-20 @ 6:41 PM
Hi I have not worked since January this year and recently started a job30/10/19 that last till January I am wondering if I will be taxed straight away
Kevster - 4-Oct-19 @ 11:01 AM
Hi I'm 20 yrs old it says my tax code is 1185L. I've been unemployed since January and been receiving 200-230 a month.. I've just recently started a job last month earning 18582 a year. So monthly would be 1548.50. Would I get taxed if I haven't earned next to anything this year and if so how much? Thanks
Toni - 11-Sep-19 @ 8:41 PM
Hi, my wife works part time and earns 10k a year, yet she is still paying income tax. Can you tell me why this would be as she is clearly under the personal threshold.
Trezza - 27-Aug-19 @ 8:02 PM
I've been told I will pay tax on 16 hours is this true.
Kiahfaye - 27-Aug-19 @ 11:22 AM
My daughter is 21, she worked 78 hours last month@£7.70 per hour. She was taxed £50 is this correct.
Suzie - 15-Aug-19 @ 10:11 PM
Hi.. I'm paid by hour. I earned 2500 gross and I was taxed 760pound. Should be - 20% right? I called hmrc and they told me everything are okay with my tax code.I think was too much you don't think so? I'm going to speak with my employer but I would appreciate a second opinion. Thanks
Mike - 15-Aug-19 @ 8:25 PM
If earning less than £12k per year do you still pay tax?.
Louise Laslett - 1-Aug-19 @ 1:14 PM
Hi, I work 18 hours a week and have worked 60 hours overtime this month, will I be taxed on this in my next pay? Ty
HevJ - 26-Jul-19 @ 2:09 PM
Hi, I’m 18 and earn well under £10,000 a year. However get charged both 20% tax and national insurance taxes, should I need to claim back? I am an unemployed student but do bits of work at music festivals and events.
Rowan - 10-Jul-19 @ 4:55 PM
I am claiming ESA and PIP and I am working less than 14 hours a week. Can someone tell me if I get taxed on my wages. Please
Nannyd - 3-Jul-19 @ 2:18 PM
Hi I currently earn 50 k a year and pay 40% tax. I will be made redundant from Sept 2020 with a lump sum pay off of over £120000. I know this is taxed. But if from Sept 2020 I get another job at between 15k,20k or 30 k then will i still have to pay the 40 % tax for the remaining of the year as lowery income? Thanks for any advice. Also can any of it later be tax rebate
Al - 30-Jun-19 @ 12:52 PM
Hi, I am working as full time employed and my annual income £30000/year, therefore, I pay tax on it through PAYE. However, I am also working as self-employed and making another £16000/year (Total £46000). My total expenses are approximately £8000. Ca you assist me how much Tax I have to pay? Thanks
Hasan - 21-Jun-19 @ 10:03 PM
Iv just started working for an agency I will be played weekly they not taken out tax and national insurance I have to have my pay packet this week my wages well very week by week depending on what hours they give me so how can I work out how much tax and national insurance will I need to pay on a weekly basis I really don't want a big bill as I have always kept this up-to-date
Caz - 23-Mar-19 @ 5:36 PM
I earned £924 for working 99 hours last month yet between tax and national insurance Im just bringing home £690 is this right?
Jax - 24-Jan-19 @ 6:24 PM
Hi ive just started work as a care assistant my wage for this month was supposed to be 1400but i recieved 1100 didnt thnk i would be paying that much tax
Chippy - 30-Nov-18 @ 1:02 AM
Hi ive been unemployed for first 6 months of this tax year. Now I'm working full time in a minimum wage job. My tax code is correct. I will not earn more than £11500 this year. However I'm paying tax every month. Will I be able to claim this back at the end of the financial year? Many thanks.
Mart - 21-Nov-18 @ 5:00 AM
I currently have two jobs and have just had my first pay check from my second job with the tax code BR (there was no W1 or M1) will this bak occur every month or is it just one off?
erin - 2-Oct-18 @ 6:20 PM
I’m getting paid 14k a year and I’m 16 years old, how much tax will I pay
Aim - 25-Sep-18 @ 5:08 PM
I earn £50k a year in full time employment, last year I also made an additional £800 through other work, do I need to fill in a self assessment for the £800?
GREENY483 - 18-Sep-18 @ 3:38 PM
Can i have a quastion? From this days i paid my tax every month i paid 70 pound. Now my boss told my i need to pay every week same 70 pound so that is together 280/month that is alright? I dont think so
Soldier93 - 16-Sep-18 @ 11:19 PM
Hi, I have earned £15,000 in this current tax year and have paid £2100 tax as PAYE; I am now switching to self employed. Will I get taxed at 20% for any self employed earnings between now and the end of the tax year, or will they deduct the tax I have already paid?
James - 7-Sep-18 @ 7:13 PM
LJ256 - Your Question:
Hi, I do 20 hours per week at minimum wage which equates to around 150 a week however I’ve been getting taxed on this is that how it should be or am I owed that money back. As from what I’ve gathered I shouldn’t need to pay tax as I only rlly earn approximately 8,000 a year when the threshold is 11,000. It would be helpful if I could know any contact info so I can find out.

Our Response:
You can either speak to your employer directly or contact HMRC to change your code, please see the link here.
MoneyExpertise - 4-Sep-18 @ 3:13 PM
Hi, I do 20 hours per week at minimum wage which equates to around 150 a week however I’ve been getting taxed on this is that how it should be or am I owed that money back . As from what I’ve gathered I shouldn’t need to pay tax as I only rlly earn approximately 8,000 a year when the threshold is 11,000. It would be helpful if I could know any contact info so I can find out.
LJ256 - 3-Sep-18 @ 12:23 PM
I work 18 hours a week and it’s 8.67 a hourwill I get tax
Pdavis - 24-Aug-18 @ 6:15 PM
I'm currently temping and am earning£1200 per month. However from April til the end of July my total earnings are less than £2000 as I was working 8 hours a week. As such my the end of the tax year my total earnings should be £10,400 which less than the personal allowance, The figure will probably be less as I'm planning on going travelling in February. However as I currently get paid over £221 per week I am getting taxed. Do I have any case for a rebate, or changing my tax code?
Ellen - 22-Aug-18 @ 12:22 PM
I'm working 10hrs a month at £7.38 but only coming out with £48.00a month is this due to tax ?
Loz - 20-Aug-18 @ 10:43 AM
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